Old article. Not sure I’m down with conclusions, but I certainly appreciated the analysis.

It’s definitely an interesting analysis, although its understanding of communism leaves a lot to be desired. It’s a remarkably good demonstration of the tension between the individualist view of free software and the collectivist view of free software, but that’s partially because it explicitly picks a side that it thinks is better.


Yep, I agree.

We can never really be comprehensive when we write. But we can be helpful.

IIRC no mention of individualism-collectivism as an axis of analysis. But I bet if you asked the author they’d address it earnestly.

The strongest case for open access and freedom in information and communications is grounded in a liberalism that takes maximizing individual freedom as its objective. (Abstract)

a principled moral and political commitment to individual freedom of action, not in an ethical obligation to share. (The effect of informational property rights on human freedom)

While I share the concerns of @boringcactus that the writer’s understanding of “communism” leaves a lot to be desired, I think its pretty clear that Mr. Mueller has made his position clear - Individual Rights aka Classic Liberal Rights are the proper recipe.

This conveniently elides the role of communitarian modes of production and thinking in society, in particular the anarcho-communism of Kropotkin or Bookchin. I also note that Mr. Mueller derides the sole “communist” feature of Stallman’s prior writings, the concept of the gift-economy, which is central to most modes of communist thought, just not Marxist-Leninist-Maoist ones.

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Well, at least the author demonstrates sufficient competence to be clearly wrong about a lot. Most commentary out there fails to acheive even a coherent, testable hypothesis. In this case, the author has laid out his argument in a way that makes debunking it a relatively easy task. The next step would be to present an argument that is correct. I think there may be enough of us here to do just that?